The Estate Key Can Help You Make Smoother Transitions - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado Home And Business

The Estate Key Can Help You Make Smoother Transitions

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Posted: Friday, April 12, 2019 3:00 pm

When Tony Richards’ father passed away a few years ago the process of unraveling his estate was burdensome and took six months. Inspired by his experience Richards decided to help others avoid the situation he found himself in. Richards pointed out that often if people don’t have important information written down it dies with them.

After working in finance on Wall Street for over 23 years, six months ago Richards took the step of creating his own business, The Estate Key, which provides a service that helps family members after the death of a relative. Richards compiles someone’s vital legal, financial and healthcare information in one centralized document that is available digitally and in print. The document includes every detail of someone’s personal information from social media passwords to a health care proxy.

“By putting it all together it’s a road map to the beneficiaries…it covers everything from legal documents to your funeral wishes and readings at your service. It’s extremely detailed,” he explained. “When you create a nice life for yourself and for your family, you put in all this work into it, why not do the last mile?”

As life changes, so do things like bank accounts and life insurance policies so Richards is always there to update the document. “It’s a living, breathing document. We don’t just create it and go away. Over time we reach out and see if anything has changed,” he said.

One of his clients had six copies of his document printed and mailed to all his children so they can all have the information. The document may include details that may not be in a will. “It’s as much or as little as you want,” he said.

For example the candlesticks on your mantle you may want to leave to a specific person or naming the person who is going to take care of your pets.

After graduating in finance from Hamilton College, Richards spent seven years in the Navy and was a helicopter pilot stationed at North Island when he met his wife who grew up in Coronado.

Richards and his family recently moved to Coronado from Connecticut. His wife Amy grew up in Coronado and when their daughter was accepted to San Diego State University they decided to move close to her and their in laws.

Richards finds most of his clients are older and many times their children encourage them to hire The Estate Key to simplify the process after their death. “It’a cathartic process, things you never talk about or never considered. It creates a conversation,” he said.

Richards feels that often children feel uncomfortable talking to their parents about their mortality and asking questions that would be valuable after their passing, but when he comes into the picture the process is made easier and less uncomfortable.

“The process of unwinding someone’s life has a lot of ramifications. Most people don’t have wills, and 40 percent of them are outdated,” he said.

Richards often works alongside trust and estate lawyers at time who create a will, but he creates The Estate Key document that helps navigate through the difficult times after a passing. “If you don’t plan properly your wishes may not be honored,” he said.

Richards recalls that when he was in the Navy and he went to sea he had to fill out an index cards with just a few pieces of information. Thinking about that experience he realizes that there many cases where younger people, which include Navy personnel like SEALs and aviators, put their lives at risk doing dangerous jobs and it is important to have their personal information centralized and accessible in case of death. “Do you want to be Sherlock Holmes or do you want to have a road map?” he asked.

It takes about 6 to 8 hours to complete the document and Richards works with clients to compile it one piece at a time.

“Once you get past the issue of your own mortality, there is no procrastination,” he said.

For more information log on or call 203-343-0505.

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1 comment:

  • William G Seymore posted at 1:11 am on Tue, Apr 16, 2019.

    William G Seymore Posts: 1

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